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G iselda Beaudin Jawbone t's a piece of jawbone. Ella is sure of this. It rubs against her tongue like a chunk of granite, a quarried piece of stone. She touches it obsessively, its sharp edge, the bone of it almost cutting at the softness of her tongue. Like all injuries tO the mouth, like all missing teeth and canker sores and cavities, this feels larger than it is. Feels like a mountain of bone, a veritable ruined city, a tooth too large to be a tooth. It must be bone instead, she reasons, a fractured fragment of her skull jarred loose, nosing up through the soft tissue of her mouth. Ella eats dinner alone, tired from the work week, typical; she watches Temptation Island, and decides that all relationships are doomed tO failure. They are all fucked up. She turns up the heat, wraps her feet in a blanket, but the lump hump soreness in her gum is impossible tO forget. She is helpless, unable to ignore the outcropping in her mouth. Her tongue probes the knifelike edge, mouth twisting until the muscles ache, until she is tired. She shuts off the television, her stomach faintly turned, a knot in her gut: what's wrong with her? What is it? Tooth, bone, scar, scab, infection? Where did it come from? She feels it pushing through her gum, forced upwards. A volcano. An underwater underskin eruption. Upstairs in her bathroom Ella flicks on the ugly vanity bu lbs above the mirror and opens her mouth wide. Twisting her neck, shoulder pinched, she writhes her head before the glass, trying to see inside the cavern of her mouth. She tries tO sec through tO the raw gum where two days ago there was a wisdom tOoth and now there is just the chunk of bone that shouldn't be. The dentist wouldn't leave a chunk of tooth behind, she thinks. Wouldn't he have noticed? Shouldn't he have known? The mirror is useless. She can't see a thing. Her own mouth, lips and teeth, block the light, cast a shadow over the spot she is trying to see. And beyond the barricade of pink gum white teeth, her tongue lies disobedient, impossible to move out of the way. In bed she tries to sleep, willing her tOngue to still in her mouth, to leave the tender spot alone. It occurs to her that she might be making it worse. Whatever it is. She might be making it hurt. Or rather, hurt more. If she didn't live alone, there would be someone here to help. Or at least someone here to tell her she was nuts, to tell her to leave it alone, that the dentist wouldn't have jarred loose a piece of bone or left a chip of tOoth enamel embedded in her gum. In the late night early morning she finally sleeps, but she dreams of being in an elevatOr with her newest, cruelest, ex-boyfriend, the man she's recently X'ed out, or is trying to X out, the man she is willing herself to for-

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FUGUE#3l

Profile for University of Idaho Library

Fugue 31 - Summer/Fall 2006 (No. 31)  

The Literary Digest of the University of Idaho

Fugue 31 - Summer/Fall 2006 (No. 31)  

The Literary Digest of the University of Idaho